Acute Migraine Medications to Help Ease your symptoms

Acute Migraine Medications to Help Ease your symptoms


A migraine is more than just a plain simple headache. It’s a difficult and complicated neurological condition, which can have far reaching effects in the body including mood swings, nausea and vomiting, visual disturbances, dizziness, confusion, and fatigue.

People with chronic migraine (migraines for 15 days a month or more), typically follow strict lifestyle adjustments and take medications to help to control their symptoms. Here we take a detailed look at the various types of available medications for individuals confronted with the challenges of awful migraine pain during the actual stage of the attack. Another term for this is abortive migraine medicine.

Acute migraine treatments: This medication is used to treat the symptoms of a painful migraine attack when the attack occurs. There are various drugs and medical remedies used to counteract this problem. The drugs are targeted to relieve pain, and treat some of the other symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, so regular activity can be resumed within a few hours.

These medicines are not meant to be consumed on a regular basis and doctors do not typically want patients to consume the medicines on more than 2 days in the week. Medication overuse headaches, that is, a headache that is caused by use of too many and frequent use of medications, is to be avoided.

For migraine abortive treatments and the immediate relief of migraine symptoms, the commonly used drugs are as follows:


 • Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs
 • Anti-nausea drugs
 • Prescription pain killers
 • Migraine specific prescription medications
 • Prescription muscle relaxants

Over-the-counter drugs: Over the counter migraine medicines don’t require any prescription to purchase.

Ibuprofen – Anti-inflammation and non-steroidal drugs that can help to alleviate pain and diminish inflammation. The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories such as Advil and Ibuprofen are first line treatments for migraines.

Caffeine – A potent vasoconstrictor, this chemical can help stop a headache. However this medicine quickly goes in and out of the bloodstream and people can have true withdrawal from the medicine. Often if used frequently, this can cause a medication overuse headache.

Anti-histamine – Medications such as Benadryl can help reduce headaches, nausea and help people to fall asleep when they have a bad migraine. Histamine is thought to play a role in migraine and it is likely that antihistamines may help to bring resolution to a migraine.
Prescription Medications:

Codeine – It’s an opiate form of drug, which has a relation to morphine. This medication and other opiate type medications are reserved only for very refractory migraines and aren’t typically used long term to treat migraines.

Migraine Specific Medicines: Triptans – These drugs were developed specially for treating migraine. They act on the inflammation component and help to constrict blood vessels during a migraine. A prescription and discussion with a doctor are required to get and use this medication. They act on the imbalance of serotonin, which is thought to play a large role in migraine formation. For most patients, they result in a significant immediate relief. There are seven triptan types that are available.

 • Amerge (Almotriptan)
 • Relpax (Eletriptan)
 • Migard, Frova (Frovatriptan)
 • Naramig (Naratriptan)
 • Maxalt (Rizatriptan)
 • Imigran, Imitrex (Sumatriptan)
 • Zomig (Zolmitriptan)

These medications have different side effects that need to be discussed with your medical professional.

Also Read: Telemedicine for Headaches

The speed to reduce an immediate migraine attack is a very important factor. Dissolvable medications may be absorbed better than full size pills. Injections such as Sumatriptan may also be more effective as migraine patients also have vomiting and cannot keep medications in their stomach. They may also act more quickly and are part of the prescription tool box.

Anti-Nausea Drugs: 


Migraine has far reaching effects on other organ systems and often “gastric stasis” occurs. Under such circumstances, nothing gets absorbed and assimilated into the bloodstream of the stomach. In addition when the stomach stops its normal peristalsis (moving and emptying of food from the stomach into the intestines), the food that remains in the stomach usually causes nausea and vomiting. Treating this debilitating symptom of migraine becomes extremely important so drugs can be absorbed in the stomach and vomiting ceases.

Also Read: What is the difference between FUE and FUT hair transplant & its cost?

Prescription drugs like Metoclopramide, and over-the-counter drugs like Buccastem M, Domperidone, Motilium and Gaviscon meant for curing nausea and vomiting and can be administered as tablets and suppositories to normalize the proper functioning of the digestive system.
Some patients find vomiting as the worst manifestation of a migraine assault. If this tendency can be regulated, then the migraine becomes somewhat more tolerable. Learning the early warning signals of an impending migraine can leave a patient with better prospects of averting pain and worsening symptoms.

Prescription Painkiller Drugs: If the OTC medication becomes futile in reducing your migraine, then your doctor may prescribe stronger and more concentrated painkillers in the form of different non-steroidal and anti-inflammation drugs like Diclofenac, Indomethacin and Naproxen or combination drugs for pain relief and anti-sickness like Reglan, Domperamol, or Zofran.

The information provided here is intended for general information only and not as medical advice. All medical care needs to be discussed with a certified medical doctor before proceeding with any treatment. The information is not intended to substitute this relationship.

City Neurology is an online secure HIPPA compliant meeting platform for patients experiencing migraine attacks, headaches, and other neurological conditions with board certified neurologists. City Neurology offers a simple, quick, and reasonable way to get professional treatment within the comfort and solace of your home.

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